No lounging around in beer gardens for us, it is a little after 8am so that would be a bit strange, I didn't have the heart to drag Eric over the hill to it, so we let the dogs drag us the short walk from the hotel through the heather and bracken.
After enjoying a people free Barpa Langass last night I thought it not quite odd but at least fortuitous to have the stones to ourselves, these are famous places right?
I think I worked it out, North Uist is as much water as it is land, there is no Stornoway here, no town as such at all, and there is no Callanish, the place will always live on in my memory as being mostly people free.
I can see stones, we have arrived, the bracken and heather is doing very well on this south facing hillside, too well, the ground is quite boggy. What a place, a few miles south east-ish there is a small mountain which I think is called Eaval, and more on the horizon. The north view is short, it is uphill, that's where I go next to see it from above, ah, ever had an itch you couldn't scratch, I have a few, this ones called Pobuill Fhinn, but now I can scratch away, it's quite a relief to finally get here. No analogies can do this feeling justice, it's just very good to be here.
The portalled entrances are quite obvious, but why two? Swinside and the Druids circle have just one, so why two here, a small voice inside me says it's because it's twice as good, more is always better than less.
It's an embanked stone circle, nay oval, but oddly the northern circle stones are inside the bank and the southern stones are outside it, explain that one if you can.
Man what a beautiful place, I adore the Outer Hebrides, but it's time to leave this idyllic place, hunt down some breakfast and then drive through a stone circle, one of only four places that I know of where you can do that.
Pobuill Fhinn....... not the most impressive stone circle you'll ever see.... if grading by size of orthostats is your thing, but - of course - there's far, far more to a circle than that.
Pobuill Fhinn has it all in my book - siting, views and that undefinable 'Je ne sais quoi'. Suffice to say Barpa Langass and this site took up a full nine hours of my day and I simply just couldn't tear myself away. Number of uprights, alignments? No idea, such was the intoxication here. Guess I'll just have to go and check what Mr Burl says.
The only regret is that I only got a couple of half-decent photos. Hey-ho.
Rarely have I spent so long looking at a site before visiting it but this one can be clearly seen from the beer garden of the Langass Lodge where we had lunch.
Aubrey Burl (see Rhiannon's post) says it "has one of the loveliest settings of any stone circle" and you have to agree. It's something about it being set into the hill so you can get above it for a full view of the circle and the watery landscape beyond it.
And its design is interesting with its two portal entrances.
There is a waymarked trail starting from the Lodge which takes in this site and Barpa Langass.
The site's name probably means 'Finn's People' - Finn MacCool that is -though it's also been translated as the Holy People.
The circle is built on an artificially levelled surface (quite a feat) and has 22 standing stones, the largest about 7ft tall. There are two broad 'entrances'.
Aubrey Burl gives it a romantic description in his 'from carnac to callanish' book:
"..Strangely beautiful.. overlooking a loch and distances of grassy machair with water lilies, marsh marigolds and orchids, overflown by lapwings, thinly whistling dunlins and shrieking oystercatchers.."